GLENWOOD SPRINGS (4/29/14) – Revenge was sweet for Sam Carmer and his Glenwood Springs teammates as they halted a five-year, 7-game losing streak to Rifle, 8-3, and rebounded from an extra-inning loss to the Bears that started the Demons on a stretch where they lost 5 of 7 games and tumbled from 1st to 5th in the Western Slope baseball standings.
Carmer keyed a 3-run first inning, giving Chase Nieslanik a 3-1 lead to work with and he sailed through the next four innings, allowing two hits and striking out six. Meanwhile, 3 infield singles by Chris Sarabia, Carmer, and Kyle LaCouture led to a run in the third and Rifle starter Bailey Hoffmeister’s control problems, added to a bases-loaded triple by Carmer essentially settled the outcome.
In the 4-run fourth, Issac Law led off with a pinch single, then Luke Ray and Keifer Brocker walked to fill the bases. Ian Scruton got one run home on a slow bouncer to second and Rifle elected to walk the .500-hitting Sarabia to set up a force at every base. The problem with that strategy is it brought up Carmer, who drilled the ball into the right-centerfield gap, extending the Demon lead to 8-1.
Wyatt Robinson, whose brother Morgan injured his knee putting on the brakes in the second inning, belted a two-run home run in the top of the sixth as Nieslanik began to wobble a bit, walking one and hitting another batter.
The Demons filled the bases with one out in the home half of the sixth, but were unable to score. With a five-run lead in the 7th, Nieslanik went 3-2 to the leadoff batter, but got the strike out, and shortstop Steve Romero fielded a tough hop and made a strong throw for the second out. Then control issues resurfaced as Nieslanik walked Ty Leyba on a 3-2 pitch, then hit Layton Stutsman with his 100th pitch of the game, bringing up Tieg Hauer, hitting .457 and Rifle’s leading RBI man.
Hauer had singled in Rifle’s first run and walked twice, but bounced to Scruton at second for a force-play to end the game, giving Glenwood its first baseball victory over the Bears since April 21, 2009. With the win, Nieslanik improved his record to 6-2, striking out 8 and allowing just 5 hits. Carmer was 3-for-4 with 4 RBIs.
The loss drops Rifle (10-7, 7-5) into 4th place behind Eagle Valley in the WSL, leaving Glenwood (9-7, 6-5) a half game game behind the Bears as the Demons await word on whether they will play their final doubleheader of the season Saturday at Summit (2-8, 1-7) or home, depending on the condition of the Tigers’ field in Frisco. Rifle travels to Battle Mountain (4-10, 0-10) Saturday for the end of the regular season.